The last time the boxing odds were this short for Floyd Mayweather was back in 2007, when he fought Oscar De La Hoya. Do the betting shifts we’re seeing toward underdog Manny Pacquiao point to a similar result?
It’s been a while since Floyd Mayweather had a fight this difficult on his hands. When he steps into the ring with Manny Pacquiao on May 2, the Boxing Odds should be in Mayweather’s favor; he’s a –200 favorite at most of our featured online sportsbooks as we go to press. That’s where the lines opened for his 2007 superfight against Oscar De La Hoya. It’s been mostly downhill for Mayweather’s opponents ever since, and you need to keep this in mind when placing your Boxing Picks for this fight.
Drawing a comparison between these two fights is easy enough. The De La Hoya bout also took place in early May at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. And at the time, it was the hottest ticket on the planet, both in terms of live gate ($18.4 million) and pay-per-view (2.45 million households). But if you take a closer look at the boxing odds, the Fight of the Century looks more like the mirror-image of the De La Hoya fight – and that’s not good news for Mayweather fans.
Before we look at the betting numbers, let’s take a moment to remember that it was De La Hoya who was at the top of the boxing mountain in 2007. It was his WBC Super Welterweight title that was on the line. The fight was handled by his own company, Golden Boy Promotions; factoring in the percentages, De La Hoya took home $52 million for his efforts, compared to $25 million for Mayweather.
Given this backdrop, even though Mayweather opened as the favorite, it’s easy to understand why the public ended up driving the boxing odds in the other direction. After an initial burst of money on Mayweather, casual fans starting unloading on the Golden Boy, driving him from +190 to +155 the week before the fight. Then the deluge: By the time they touched gloves on Dos de Mayo, Mayweather was the +150 underdog according to BoxRec.
Granted, there was also some palace intrigue in the Mayweather camp that may have driven bettors to the other side. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., had been De La Hoya’s trainer since 2001. The two Mayweathers were not getting along well at the time, but at first, the father didn’t want to oppose the son. Then Mayweather père decided to train De La Hoya – for a price. De La Hoya refused, and Mayweather joined his son’s camp instead.
That didn’t work out well. Mayweather fils wanted to keep his uncle Roger as his trainer, and the two of them had some uncomplimentary things to say about Floyd Senior on HBO’s 24/7 program. So the elder Mayweather was out of the picture the week before the fight. Probably just as well in retrospect. In the end, De La Hoya lost by a mildly controversial split decision.
Which brings us to the present day. Now it’s the undefeated Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) who’s on top of the mountain; it’s his name that’s first on the bill, and it’s his company, Mayweather Promotions, that has final say over Top Rank Promotions. The terms of their deal has Mayweather earning 60 percent of the gross to Pacquiao’s 40 percent.
Meanwhile, the early betting has been on Pacquiao, pushing his boxing odds from +270 at the open to around +170 as we go to press. And this time, it’s Mayweather who’s expected to get the lion’s share of the public action as the Fight of the Century approaches. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Pacquiao’s going to win on May 2. Nor does the fact that Mayweather is the older fighter this time, after being the younger man in the ring against De La Hoya. But these things do add up. And did we mention Floyd Senior is his trainer this time?